If you wanted a gist of what Line of Defense: Tactics is in less than 10 words it would be: drag and click, drag and click, drag and click. An uninspired game that seeks to test how long you can play without nodding off in boredom, Line of Defense: Tactics represents a worrisome trend of porting a free-to-play mobile game for a premium price. Not only is it overpriced, it’s hard for me to come up with the words that would truly describe how “not fun” the game is. I honestly struggled to get past the second level, not because of the difficulty, but because I simply didn’t care enough to continue playing.
A PC port of a free-to-play mobile game, Line of Defense: Tactics serves as a counterpart to Line of Defense, an as-of-yet unreleased MMO, both by developer 3000 AD. A top-down real-time-strategy game with squad and load-out customization, the gameplay boils down to moving through a literal hallway and commanding your squad to attack the bad guys until they’re dead. That’s it. You drag the mouse to indicate where you want your squad to move to, click on the enemy, select “Attack,” and then wait until the enemy is killed. This system pulls you out of the game so much that I found myself checking Facebook while my squad attacked to find them killed when I reopened the window. The controls are so blatantly intended for a phone or tablet that it makes you wonder how much the developer even cared to optimize it for PC. The overall game is technically functional enough to progress but in a manner that is so bare-boned that makes you wish it wasn’t.
Line of Defense: Tactics starts you off each mission with a narrator describing the mission objectives. Where most of these objectives might as well read “kill all the enemies and get to the end,” a larger story is referenced but never explained. I thought I was missing a level or text screen that explained it but I wasn’t, the game just threw on the veil of a fully-thought out narrative like it was a kid wearing his dad’s clothes so he would be seen as an adult.
The main point is that as a free mobile game, Line of Defense: Tactics would be a great download. A decent way to pass the time in the dentist’s office and doesn’t include any upset or frustratingly flapping birds. Yet a staggering $25 price point on Steam demands more effort than the developers seem to have given. Why would any logical person pay $25 for a game when they can get a better version of the same thing for free? I can only advocate how much of a waste of money the purchase of this game would be. Seriously, go buy yourself twenty-five $1 burritos. And while you’re sitting there eating your delicious burritos, contemplate on what other game you can play and how fortunate you are to be spared terrible fate of dragging and clicking.
[+Functional enough] [-Absurdly inflated price] [-Disengaging combat] [-Controls not optimized for PC] [-No explanation of the story] [-Did I mention that criminally insane price?]